The first all-kickboxing card in One Championship history ended with a shocking knockout.
In the “One: First Strike” headliner, Giorgio Petrosyan took on Superbon Banchamek for the inaugural kickboxing featherweight championship (155 pounds). The Italian fighter started with his usual cautious pace in Round 1, studying his opponent’s reactions. Superbon had some success with push kicks and knees to the body while Petrosyan attacked the leading leg. “The Doctor” looked to score with his right hand, and he managed to sting Superbon with a well-timed uppercut. The Thai fighter proved busier in the first frame, largely due to his kicks.
After the challengers for the vacant belt walked out to Round 2, Superbon fired off a few head kicks that Petrosyan blocked in time. Petrosyan responded by catching one of these kicks and trying to sweep the leg, but the referee warned the Italian not to do that again. When the action resumed, Petrosyan chased the Thai down with his jab. In retaliation, Superbon loosed a few kicks that pounded off the shoulder and midsection of Petrosyan. With 20 seconds left to go in the round, Superbon shocked the world by scoring a body kick, ducking an overhand left counter and smashing “The Doctor” in the face with the head kick to end all head kicks. Petrosyan was out before he hit the ground, his legs crossed and down for quite some time. The Italian needed to be stretchered out of the cage as a result of the vicious knockout, and he was transferred to the hospital for evaluation. In addition to capturing the strap, Superbon handed Petrosyan just his third career defeat, while stopping the Italian for the first time in eight years.
The co-main event brought with it the fourth pairing of the 2021 featherweight grand prix quarterfinals, when former Glory lightweight champ Marat Grigorian faced off against ex-K-1 World Max titleholder Andy Souwer. It took little more than 30 seconds for Grigorian to knock down “Souwer Power” with a clean boxing combination. When he got back to his feet, Souwer struck back with some of his well-known punch-to-head kick combinations, but his Armenian-born opponent never flinched. In the second frame, both fighters landed good shots as Grigorian kept the center of the cage while his adversary circled around him. The 155-pound tilt came to an end when Grigorian landed a quick left hand that dropped Souwer, and the Dutchman declined to get back to his feet after suffering apparent ankle injury. The official end came at 2:26 of Round 2, and the 38-year-old kickboxing great with a record of 161-22-1 with 98 KOs retired in the cage following his defeat.
In the remaining quarterfinal battles, former Lumpinee Stadium welterweight champ and Glory lightweight king Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong edged Tayfun Ozcan by narrow split decision; Bellator MMA vet Chingiz Allazov put Samy Sana away with a vicious punch to the liver just 39 seconds into their meeting; proud Georgian Davit Kiria outstruck Enriko Kehl and recorded a TKO victory at the 2:50 mark of Round 1.
In the heavyweight affair that opened the card, Rade Opacic stopped Patrick Schmid after scoring four knockdowns, with the final one putting an end to the rumble at 1:19 of the second stanza.
« Previous Pictures: One Championship 'First Strike' Next Rich Franklin Interview: Life as One Championship Vice President »